Published: Thu, July 11, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

United Kingdom ambassador to Washington quits after leaked memo spat

United Kingdom ambassador to Washington quits after leaked memo spat

The row has been described as the worst dispute between the transatlantic allies in more than 100 years and it highlights the complexities countries face in dealing with the volatile temper of U.S. President Donald Trump.

The main opposition Labour Party said Darroch had been bullied out by Trump and because of Johnson's "pathetic lickspittle response".

"Since the leak of official documents from this Embassy there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position", he said in his resignation letter.

According to The New York Times, Darroch - who, among other taunts, said Trump "radiates insecurity" and could "crash and burn" - is evidently not alone among diplomats in communicating similar sentiments to their governments.

When Mr Johnson was asked on Tuesday night about how he would handle the situation with Sir Kim during the televised debate between himself and Jeremy Hunt, he refused to say whether he would keep the ambassador on or not.

The uproar over Darroch's behavior began when The Daily Mail reported on Sunday that Darroch had used secret cables and briefing notes in which he had slammed Trump and his administration. "Although my posting is not due to end until the end of this year, I believe in the current circumstances the responsible course is to allow the appointment of a new ambassador", he added. On his state visit to the United Kingdom in June, Trump confirmed he told May how to leave the European Union, but admitted he did not know if the strategy would have worked.

That relationship is of particular importance to London now, as it hopes to strike a major trade deal with Washington when Britain leaves the European Union.

By late Tuesday, when Boris Johnson - the front-runner to become Britain's next prime minister - pointedly did not defend Darroch, the ambassador concluded it was no longer tenable for him to stay on the job.

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The resignation has infuriated London's diplomatic and political class.

May expressed "great regret" that Darroch was leaving, saying: "Good government depends on public servants being able to give full and frank advice".

He said he regretted how an "outrageous leak caused this".

British ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch, resigned yesterday. 'He has basically thrown this fantastic diplomat under the bus to serve his own personal interests'.

May as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister. "In a very hard period, he was showing his customary professionalism".

Friends of Sir Kim said he told Mr Johnson during their phone call that the Tory front-runner's failure to pledge his support was one of four factors that led to his resignation. "If they have to do so worrying about how it might look in a newspaper it will represent a fundamental change in how our diplomatic system operates".

Mr Johnson was however defended by supporter ex-Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, who attacked Mr Hunt backers for "a shabby attempt to politicise" the resignation.

Trump's tweets created fury among many British politicians and officials, who found themselves insulted by the president's decision to have the administration cut off contact with their ambassador. "I'll never let another country's leader choose who represents the United Kingdom".

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